Strategic Assessment: Why Do It?
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”
- Tony Robbins
A new year, a time for new thinking, and new approaches. While this January feels quite different than most, it is still that time to pause and reflect and define the goals for the year.
Strategic planning comes in many flavors. If you don’t have a formal process for annual strategic planning, consider a strategic assessment. When assisting clients with strategic plans for sales and marketing, we start with a strategic assessment. The assessment includes considerations for current capabilities, sales process, marketing, current staff skill set, vertical markets, and potential new business initiatives. Using a proven methodology, we conduct a workshop to identify current strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and threats (SWOT) for growth. Using a cross-functional approach our assessment process is more than a SWOT analysis. With strategic planning and analysis, clients define a path forward.
The assessment includes:
- Data gathering across departments of current state
- Assessment of capabilities and opportunities
- Assessment of business issues and challenges
- Assessment marketing activities and results
- Assessment sales activities and results
- Define desired goals and objectives to achieve future state goals
Look Back to Clearly See Forward
The assessment includes a fresh look at past activities and strategies, and the respective results to provide both vision and context. 2020 created many new contexts for business. Likewise, 2021 will require new approaches to reach goals and growth will come from different sources.
Results Don’t Lie
The real value of a strategic assessment is clarity on what was done and what was accomplished. With this perspective, leaders and managers can have an honest conversation about challenges internally and externally that may impede attaining the desired future vision.
Often senior leaders define goals and then managers implement projects, programs, and delegate tasks. Just as they should. But often projects and programs take unforeseen turns and decisions made on the fly generate unexpected results, both good and bad. The assessment is the pause button. What did we do, what can we learn, how can we be better, what are the gaps, where do we need new resources?
Simple questions that require straightforward answers to drive effective strategies for growth. Alignment with all leaders and managers. How could your team or organization impact results if everyone is truly aligned on goals and strategies for 2021? Did you take the time to assess all major areas of the business in 2020?
Strategic assessments enable new beginnings with clarity and energy to focus on the actions and approaches that will drive new results in 2021. Pause, assess, reflect, then define new goals and actions.
Wishing you strategic success in 2021.
Input for this piece was provided by Mark M. Fallon, president and CEO, The Berkshire Company:
Mark M. Fallon is president and CEO of The Berkshire Company, a consulting firm specializing in mail and document processing strategies. The company develops customized solutions integrating proven management concepts with emerging technologies to achieve total process management. He offers a vision of the document that integrates technology, data quality, process integrity, and electronic delivery. His successes are based upon using leadership to implement innovative solutions in the document process. You can contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lois Ritarossi, CMC®, is the President of High Rock Strategies, a consulting firm focused on sales and marketing strategies, and business growth for firms in the print, mail and communication sectors. Lois brings her clients a cross functional skill set and strategic thinking with disciplines in business strategy, sales process, sales training, marketing, software implementation, inkjet transformation and workflow optimization. Lois has enabled clients to successfully launch new products and services with integrated sales and marketing strategies, and enabled sales teams to effectively win new business. You can reach Lois at highrockstrategies.com.